Obsession is the domination of one's thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc. When we are obsessed, we are dominated by our thoughts and feelings in a cycle that is seemingly endless.
We all may have been obsessed with something, some objects or ideas, aim or purpose or some person or persons at some point of our lives. There may be no logical reasoning for the outburst of these feelings which shadows our mind and in turn we lose the capacity of seeing right or wrong. It may push us in a deep depression and frustration.
Passion and obsession are synonym words but its implied meaning is different. In passion, heart and mind gets involved to certain extent whereas in obsession, it may reach to the point of limitlessness. The desire to do or get something reaches to the point of fanaticism.
One thing may be our culture’s obsession with achievement: with the need for “hard work” and working long hours to get things done, with the need to be busy all the time, with the need to make lists and check them off, with the need to juggle countless projects and make more revenue and accomplish more and more. But for what? What’s the point of all this obsession? It leads to burnout, stress, anxiety, unhappiness, greed, confusion, and no time for family, friends, and yourself.
Let’s create a new creed: Simplicity, purpose, focus, silence, and joy. Let’s make beautiful and useful things, and love doing it. Remember in this world in a way, there is nothing that truly needs to get done.
(The thing that has been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. – Refer; King James 2000 Bible)
“But people become obsessed. Obsession is pathological. Because of obsession the world suffers too much. …………Nothing is, and can be, eternal here; all is momentary. It is like a rose ﬂower. In the morning it was there, by the evening it is gone. And the rose ﬂower is far more beautiful because it will disappear. If it was going to be there for ever and ever like a plastic ﬂower, there would not have been any beauty. The very possibility of its disappearance makes it immensely valuable. ………….You cannot cling to it, you cannot possess it. If you try to possess it, you will kill it immediately.” ------- Osho
Be content with what you have;
Rejoice the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
The whole world belongs to you.
- Lao Tzu
“…….............… If you are obsessed by an ideal and follow it ruthlessly without deeply considering its integral significance, you are not fulfilling, and you are therefore creating suffering for another and for yourself. Through your own lack of balance, you create disharmony………….......... One has to be aware, extremely alert, to see whether one is merely living according to an ideal, principle, or standard, which indicates the lack of real understanding of the present and an escape from actuality. This escape, this imitation leading to frustration, is the true cause of conflict and suffering…………..” ---- J .K
Zen Story - Unhealthy Obsession
Once there was a Japanese landlord who was very fond of chrysanthemums. The entire rear garden of his mansion was planted with chrysanthemums and he spent lot of time and energy taking care of the plants. In fact he spent more time taking care of chrysanthemums than his family and other duties. Many of his workers were punished for accidentally stepping on the plants or destroying the flowers. Once a caretaker accidentally broke of a blossom and the landlord asked him to be locked up. Humiliated by this the care taker wanted to die cutting the belly (Harakiri or Seppukku) in protest typical of a Japanese warrior. Zen Master Sengai Gibon heard about this and decided to do something so that the landlord learns about his obsession and the caretaker does not die. On a rainy night when the chrysanthemums were in full bloom he sneaked into the landlord’s garden with sickle and cut down every chrysanthemum he could find. Hearing the sound the landlord woke up and he saw someone in the garden cutting down his entire chrysanthemum. He rushed out with sword in a fit of anger only to find the respected master Sengai Gibon. Landlord asked him, “What are you doing? These are my beloved chrysanthemums. The master replied, “Every weed like these become over grown if they are not cut”. The landlord realized error of his ways and his misplaced zeal. From that day he gave up growing chrysanthemums.
“Obsession is harmful”
3. http://zenhabits.net/tao-of-productivity/ by Leo Babauta.
5. Zen Wisdom Stories for Everyday Living.
7. This very Body of the Buddha – Osho (chap 4)